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Dartford FC start a tough month of fixtures by visiting St Albans City

By Steve Tervet

Dartford begin a crucial month in their title quest by travelling to free-scoring St Albans this weekend.

All four games Tony Burman’s side play this month are against teams battling to make the National League South play-offs.

First up comes a trip to St Albans, who thrashed East Thurrock 7-2 on Saturday to climb to sixth.

Andy Pugh scored twice in Dartford's 3-1 win over Whitehawk Picture: Andy Payton
Andy Pugh scored twice in Dartford's 3-1 win over Whitehawk Picture: Andy Payton

Burman said: “We knew we had a tough month in February. It was important to have a good January and it was reasonable but we could maybe have won at least one of the games we drew.

“February is a month to look forward to. They’re big games and the crowd are starting to feel good about things.

“I’m quite happy with the squad I’ve got at the moment. We’ve got a little bit of competition, which is great and I’m not under any pressure to let people go.

“We’ve kept a tight string on everything financially and I’m pleased with where we’re at.”

St Albans are nine points behind Dartford with a game in hand after mauling East Thurrock.

Burman said: “If you listen to some of the interviews, East Thurrock were causing St Albans problems for the first 25 minutes and were 2-1 up before they went down to 10 men.

“We know St Albans are a good side. At the start of the season, I thought they were one of the best sides we’ve played and the man advantage might have made a difference on Saturday.

“To be fair to St Albans, they said they were under the cosh for the first 25 minutes and hopefully we can do that for a bit longer.”

Centre-half Richard Sho-Silva will miss the game with a knee injury but Burman has no other concerns.

His main selection dilemma comes up front, where it will be hard to leave out Andy Pugh after he scored twice in the 3-1 win over Whitehawk on Saturday.

Burman said: “I left him out of the starting line-up the week before because I wanted to play with two bigger lads up front and at the same time, it gave him a rest.

“I’m trying to manage that the best I can and I’m delighted he’s scoring goals.

“He’s got so much to offer. If he gets on a run, which hopefully he can do, we know we’ve got a top striker.”

Dartford host Chelmsford, who are eighth, on February 10, before visiting Wealdstone on February 17.

The Stones are 11th, five points below Truro, who occupy the final play-off spot and are due at Princes Park on February 24.

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